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~I love you because you make me feel like an artist

I love you because you make me feel like an artist

by Ben Werther

The project began when I found a how-to manual in a used bookstore about how to build and modify radios so that they can be used to contact ghosts. I began modifying radios I found in thrift stores or on Ebay in accordance with the book. I have an entire collection of these radios in my house. The one I used for this project is made from a police scanner that I started working on earlier this year.

I decided upon its completion that I wanted to try to use it to start contacting art historical figures that I like. I would ask them for guidance about being an artist. I have always been a huge fan of William Burroughs as he was also interested in the occult – so he was the first person that came to mind. His book Naked Lunch changed my life along with his idea that language is a virus from outer space that infects us with meaning… which he meant literally and as opposed to semiotics.

Through a friend I was given the opportunity to visit William Burroughs’ New York apartment. It has been kept in pristine condition since his passing. I wrote a kind of long winded question asking about becoming possessed by artistic genius which I read aloud in his bedroom while running the scanner.

In the days that followed, my sense of reality became warped. I had created a condition in which I was constantly hyper vigilante. My experience of my surroundings had become directly linked to a form of artistic production. I am always looking at everything around me extra close now, just in case I miss a signal.

hand written letter, modified police scanner
28:20 audio recording
2022

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